This assessment piece will be a short animation of a bipedal character navigating one of two obstacle courses. The character in question is a slightly modified ‘Norman’ rig that is to replicate the behavior of a selected character. In this case that character is Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas.
Jack’s movement , most of the time, uses his abnormal proportions to their fullest, sometimes taking large strides, and leaping from place to place. In one scene, he is seen leaping, and perching himself, on the tops of gravestones as he moves through.
At other times he utilises a standard-ish movement patterns, but the length of his arms and legs exaggerate this movement. When he is alone in the movie and in a location new to him, as such when he visits the christmas based areas, he shows a curious demeanor, examining in wonder the environment around him. While curios, Jack acts a bit energetic and uses his lengthy limbs even more so than normal.
After 4 weeks, the finished animation is complete. With almost 720 frames and a runtime of about 30 seconds, the animation had an average length compared to fellow students. However, within this runtime the ‘density’ per-say of time and action is heavily focused in the very beginning of the animation, using up over 400 frames for what equates to 25% of progression through the obstacle course.
Over the course of creating this animation, management as a whole (Time, File, project management) was good enough up until i put too much faith and reliance on Google Drive. What happened was that i had uploaded the finished animation in preparation for its showing.
However, due to thinning storage capacity(120mb), in the hopes of freeing up space to prevent a worst case scenario i had deleted the animations file under the thought that it had been backed up onto google drive. Unfortunately when it came to preparing it to present, the upload was somehow faulty, while it was recognized as existing, there was no data in the file. it was blank. Fortunately i had saved previous versions and was able to somewhat re-create (Albeit limited) what changes were missing in time for presentation.
Thankfully, the changes were enough. even though i wish i could continue work on the animation, i need to bring it to a close.
What went well?
possibly my favorite segment of the animation is the one with the fastest movement – where slides down a ramp and leaps from pylon to pylon. This is the smoothest animation in the project and i feel it allowed for the long proportions to be utilized to their fullest.
What didn’t go well?
The final step. Overall i personally felt it was too floaty, and perhaps too slow. Another segment i didn’t really enjoy either was the box and ledge climb. At this point the climb is, again, too slow and some of the movements are not quite right.
What have i gained from this?
First off – Experience and a basic understanding of animation within Maya. Secondly – Animation is not quite my forte. what this means for me is that i should probably do some smaller animations with the Norman rig in Maya and improve my understanding of the program and 3D animation as a whole.
View/Download the final animation here:-